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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

November 30, 2004

Bashman on Harvard Law & Free Speech

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 11:49 pm

speaking truth
the rainy season’s crack
of thunder

                       Kobayashi ISSA,

                       translated by D. Lanoue

This Harvard Law School graduate (HLS ’76) would like to join Howard Bashman’s reminder to my

alma mater that free speech often comes at a cost — as does sticking to one’s principles.  Howard

responds to news that HLS plans to start barring military recruiters, in the wake of  the 3rd Circuit’s

decision yesterday overturning the Solomon Amendment. 


Rather than losing federal funding, Harvard Law School has been allowing military recruiters on campus,

despite the anti-gay policies of the military.  As Howard points out, in words worth quoting in full:

don't forget tack “Harvard Law School at all times (including now) has had the right to ban

military recruiters from campus notwithstanding the existence of the Solomon Amendment

— the university simply had to pay the price in loss of federal funding.   Dean Kagan’s statement

suggests that now that the price to be paid will soon be zero dollars, Harvard Law School can

afford to exercise its right of association in the manner it prefers. On this very point, to the extent

that the Solomon Amendment causes a law school to “speak” in any manner, it seems to me

that a law school is forced to reveal that it finds the continuation of federal funding to have

a greater value than the evenhanded application of the school’s anti-discrimination policy.

This ‘speech’ — which reveals that the exercise of rights sometimes comes at great cost; even

at a cost that may be too great to bear — would seem to teach law students a valuable lesson

about how the real world often operates.”  (emphasis added)

If Harvard Law School can’t afford to give up federal dollars in order to take a principled stand, who can?

things looking up — defining 2004

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 10:50 pm

Merriam-Webster’s Words of the Year 2004 have been announced.    thesaurus

It’s a list of the ten words that have been looked up the most at the M-W

online dictionary and thesaurus in 2004.


Most webloggers will take special notice, I’m sure, that the word “blog” was came in at

#1.   In fact, as TalkLeft notes, “blog”  will be a new entry in the 2005 version of the

Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition.   Here’s the M-W definition:

Blog noun [short for Weblog] (1999) : a Web site that contains an online

personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided

by the writer

I’m sure there will be plenty of quibbling over the definition, but I plan to stay out of

that loop (find other defintions of “blog” at OneLook Dictionary and Ask Jeeves).

Of course, I need to preserve my customary objection to the adoption of that ugly

 little word.  Click here for a brief history of the word “blog” (and my plea that we

do better from now on as we create our online and technological Language Legacy).


I have a different observation:  M-W‘s Top Ten List gives a remarkably good sketch

of the events of 2004 — an outline of words on the minds of many Americans. In addition

to “blog,” here’s the list:

 2. incumbent
 3. electoral
 4. insurgent
 5. hurricane
 6. cicada
 7. peloton : noun (1951) : the main body of riders in a bicycle race
 9. sovereignty
10. defenestration

   blackboard abc  There are still 31 days left in 2004.  I wonder what events in America or

around the world could change this list, as we go online to better understand the words

that are important to be well-informed citizens, students, parents, and human beings.



looking up, wrinkles
looking down, wrinkles…
a cold night


drawing words
in an old tray’s ashes…
winter cold

Kobayashi ISSA, translated by David G. Lanoue                                                       

Brainsize & More – lawyer stats

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 3:59 pm

Surf serendipity sent me from Legal Reader‘s blurb yesterday on lawsuits

in China, to other exotic ports of call, and then back to my neighborhood

Underground cafe, where Evan Schaeffer wonders about the optimal size

of lawyer brains.   Here’s a quick journal of my trip results:

tiny check Civil suits in China increased 7-fold in just two years, while     graph up gray

the number of lawyers in Shanghai grew almost 50%.  Maybe we should

outsource Walter Olson  and Jim Copland to China, where it’s probably

still easy to discipline school kids. (see LATimes via LegalReader)



tiny check The ABA’s survey of Lawyer Population by State shows that

there were 1,084,504 active lawyers in the USA at the close of 2003.  The

biggest percentage growth was in Virgin Islands, Utah, and Indiana, while

Vermont, South Carolina, Rhode Island, and Maryland had fewer lawyers in

2003 than in 2002.   You can find a lot more lawyer and law school stats 

  • According to Texas U. Professor Stephen Magee, each additional

    lawyer reduces GDP by $250,000 dollars — but, who’s counting?

tiny checkAs of today, about 47% of attorneys answering Findlaw’s Hindsight

& Careers poll, say they wish they had never taken the Bar exam; and,

don’t tell Carolyn, but almost twice as many wish they had gone to a

BigLaw firm than say they would have chosen a smaller firm.


tiny check At U. Ill. U/C, I found an essay asking Are There Too Many Lawyers?, which

was presented by the Pre-Law and Law School Admissions office.  If anyone

has a clue what this piece is saying, please let me know.  Meanwhile, I was

edified by this nugget of information (emphasis added).

When asked what skills they expected law school graduates to 

tbring o a firm, hiring coordinators listed in order:

  1. oral communication skills
  2. written communication skills
  3. legal analytic ability
  4. library and computer skills
  5. sensitivity for ethical skills.

Is it any wonder that law firms now need to hire in-house legal counsel, and

that “Lawyers representing lawyers find unique challenges” (see BostonBizJ,  


tiny check  Please don’t forget poor old North Carolina, which is suffering from severe LSD —

law school deprivation syndrome — having, according to some sources, too few lawyers and

too few law schools.


tiny check  Finally, if he can stand a large dose of bigotry, Evan Schaeffer might want to check out

the Father’s Manifesto website, which has cranial capacity charts galore, along with lots of

standardized test results.  At the site we learn, among many similar tidbits, that 

“The first thing Americans must understand is that, by design, lawyers are STUPID people. 

They score lower on the Graduate Record Exam than most of all other majors, scoring

slightly higher than average score for blacks and slightly lower than the average score

or women, but more than 200 points lower than Asian engineering majors.

“Many lawyers are divorced, are paying “child support” and alimony to ex-wives (or

two or three ex-wives) which makes their ability to understand the Holy Bible or draft

a simple agreement, much less understand human nature, highly suspect.”

ethicalEsq and Prof. Yabut no longer feel bad about anything we’ve ever said about lawyers. As

we never took the GRE nor filed for divorce, we are happy not to have made the statistics any

worse than they are.


boom! boom! ka-boom!
so many duds…


heading for where
hunting birds are few…
the fox


haiku of Kobayashi ISSA, translated by D.G. Lanoue                                                                                                dunce  j.d.

in the ripples

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 1:58 pm

Zen garden
a dry leaf sticks
in the ripples




Alzheimer’s ward

again father counts

the afghan squares



by Pamela Miller Ness, from A New Resonance 2: Emerging Voices                     breadwine neg

credits: “alzheimer’s ward” – bottle rockets II:1

             “Zen garden” – bottle rockets I:1



by dagosan:

under nana’s afghan –

dreaming homemade 

bread and meatballs

                                                   [Nov 30, 2004]

one-breath pundit  

    • Carolyn Elefant asks “What’s a Fair Rate for Court-Appointed Counsel,” and “Would Biglaw

      Pay More to Help A Legal Aid or Solo Attorney?”  We’ve left comments at MyShingle today

      in response.  Have you?  By the way, the Editor doesn’t think a State should pay any more

      for assigned counsel than it takes to get an adequate supply of competent lawyers.

    • fragile glass Our other frequent commentor, Mike Cernovich, a/k/a Fed84, starts an indepth, four-part series today on the Interstate Wine Shipment Cases, over at Crime & Federalism.  You’ll find him neither dry nor fruity.  I cannot vouch for his bouquet.

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